Fiction

Fables, yarns, tales, fantasies, science fiction, magic realism and other fantastical flavors.

The Blood Tree

Opening the bedroom window overlooking the garden, Raymond finds floodlight dahlias sweating in the monkey grass, shaggy petals hit by heavy rain. Their battered heads fall, childlike in the mist, leaning down to the ground ...

Unrooted

The tree unstuck its roots from the ground before walking into the hardware store, a trail of dirt behind him as he made his way through the sliding doors. A clerk greeted him, asked what ...

The Seedling

I should have known that the scab on my chest beside my left nipple was more than just a scab. I couldn’t remember ever cutting or scratching myself.  I should have known something was off ...

String of Hearts

As usual, Ellyn Mueller sits alone during 5th grade recess, leaning against the chain-link fence that edges the Baytown Elementary School playground. Reaching between her bumped-up knees, she draws a rose on the blacktop, using ...

Pussy Money

You wake up one morning and there is a $20 bill folded like an accordion in the left side of your vulva, just between your labia majora and labia minora.  You get out of bed ...

Illegible

I was too young to remember the pandemic, but I guess that’s when it all began. People were too afraid to touch each other, and face ID was contactless. Epidemiologists said that we could limit ...

My Grandmother’s Face

Each morning, my grandmother put on her face.  I watched as she painted lips, shaped eyes. From her brush bloomed brows. Her nose, like clay, sculpted. From the mirror, she smiled. The ritual was complete. ...

Universal Cognitive Maintenance

After its inception, everyone was both happier and more distracted. Fear of forgetfulness, of the forgotten itself? Gone! Gloom about the ephemeral nature of experience? Also gone. On the other hand, every citizen spent a lot ...

A Field Guide to the Ethereal Spectrum of Night

Introduction  It is commonly believed that there are but two shades of illuminated darkness: moonlight and starlight. But in my travels I have found there to be a multitude of phenomena that produce what I ...

Mixed State Copy

Eli is an imperfect clone of Shuli, but the priests say she is as good as perfect.  Perfect clones are impossible anyway, if you’re copying Shuli’s pure state via unitary time evolution, and if you ...

Valley PTA Hair Salon

Deep in the Valley of Hair Salons the dolls dance dirty and dangerously.  A quick call from the barker begins the performance. Barbies, Kens, Midges and Allans start to spin. Doll feet moving in a ...

Master of Birds

Byzantium, c. 550 CE      The Empress of whom I’m speaking ruled over a vast domain with countless subjects. She maintained a retinue of thousands, assigned to all manner of tasks. Many in her employ ...

No One Doesn’t Sleep

The sleep lab's in an annex, the hospital receptionist — a warty man — had told Celia, in the quadrangle, can't miss it, pointing her down the white-lit lobby toward the back doors, but under ...

The Fleet Ones

It’s a fine time to be born with feet all over your body, though it does increase parental workload with so many little socks to wash, dry, and sort. In adult life, except during ceremonial ...

The Leavening Agent

Linnet smells the enticing scent of baking bread and smiles. It is 5:30 a.m., and the baker below her apartment is right on time.  Outside the sky is still dark. The birds are only beginning ...

Altar

Listen to "Altar" as narrated by the author I was walking down Bushwick Avenue to do my radio show, as I do every Sunday morning. I noticed an idling rusted out pickup truck, sitting next to ...

A Long Way Down

If a pin dropped, she wouldn’t be able to hear it. It was Christmas, her first with a man that she wanted her family to meet.  She'd come straight home from college. She’d taken the ...

Think Warm Thoughts

The world burns. The sun stalks. Can life be sustained off a window sill’s moisture, a lead pipe’s sweat? Someone spills the orange juice we’ve been rationing. It spread more sunshine across the room. We ...

Sisters

We spent the day together on the island. I had never been there before, but it has been my sister’s home forever. We sat on the sand, running rivulets of it through our fingers, and ...

The Island of Free Women

There is a new batch of women arriving today. Sixteen new heartbreaks. They come down off the boat on unsteady legs. They are sunburnt and sick. Some fall onto the sand and cry. Others stay ...

You Can Take It From Here

Angel hadn’t seen a condom in years. But the sight of them, colorful and glossy in a clear glass bowl on the counter of the unisex bathroom, made her feel oddly nostalgic. They held her ...

Creature

On some odd day — one of those million golden afternoons that breeds boredom or trouble regardless of character — you find yourself and a dear friend sitting alone in your living room, the TV ...

Model of the City in an Instrumentarium

The Shadow District, locked between four relatively broad streets, is like no other in the City. While there are a lot of shadows here, not one of them strikes me as unnatural — severed from ...

Devil in Her Heart

Rich dropped the needle on their newest album, grinning as George parodied the countdown they’d used in the good old days. Then he flung himself down on the patchwork corduroy pouf in the corner of ...